Updated August 2017
This spring, our experts put six new contenders to the test, taking these kits with them everywhere they went. During our update, we discovered that REI is no longer selling their brand, which has changed since our last review. We have a new Editors' Choice winner, the Surviveware Small, while the Adventure Medical Kits take the cake in the other arenas.
Best Overall First Aid Kit
The Surviveware Small
won our Editors' Choice award for being the best all-around first aid kit. It's small enough to take out on a day trip, yet has enough tools to support a multi-day remote trip as long as the group size is not too large. It comes with high-quality tools and a good assortment of supplies for an overnight kit. Coming in a very rugged carrying case that keeps the supplies well-organized, it is easy to find what you are looking for and keep your bag from becoming cluttered. We also like the small removable CPR kit, a feature that makes this kit handy for people on short walks away from camp or the car as well.
Read full review: Surviveware Small
Best Bang for the Buck
Adventure Medical Kits Adventure 2.0
Not too heavy for backpacking
Great value to cost ratio
No CPR mask
Our Best Bang for Buck Award goes to the Adventure Medical Kits Adventure 2.0
. This medium weight kit is small enough to be taken on day trips but well-equipped to be taken on an overnight hike or put in the back of a car for emergencies. It has enough tools to deal with many common small problems, and with quality supplies and included over the counter medications it is quite useful to the average consumer. For the price, the value cannot be overstated, and although there were a few places we saw room for improvement, they are easy fixes and still keep this kit at an incredibly low price.
Read full review: Adventure Medical Kits Adventure 2.0
Top Pick for Day Hiking and Lightweight Adventures
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7
Only good for smaller groups
Low quantities of components
One of the most often carried kits by far, as well as our reviewers' favorite, is the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7
. This kit is so light you can take it anywhere, and you'll never even notice it until you need it. We gave it our Top Pick award because of its useful components and lightweight packaging; it's small enough to fit in a day pack and light enough to carry on rock climbs, mountain bike rides, or trail runs. The contents are basic and ideal for 1-2 people for day hikes or short overnight trips. The big advantage of this model is its simplicity — there is essentially zero additional ounces in the packaging, which is made of lightweight silicone-impregnated nylon with one small watertight zipper. This outer case sheds moisture in a light drizzle and keeps the inner case protected and free from tears.
Read full review: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7